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E-M:/ dnr parks, field operations to pay for spruced-up mason building?

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

The Department of Natural Resources has shifted over $1.3 million in
program funds and is seeking legislative approval for another $780,000
shift in order to pay for remodeling of its office space in
the Mason Building in Lansing, according to legislative records.

On its current $780,000 wish list, DNR is proposing that $150,000 be
shifted from support for field programs and $100,000 from state parks and
almost $50,000 from the Michigan Conservation Corps to pay for the
redecorated headquarters offices in Lansing.

Although the previous fund shifts were individually approved by the House
and Senate appropriations committees, the amounts transferred so far exceed
the annual limit of $500,000 for "special maintenance" under the state's
capital outlay law -- and thus circumvented the normal review process by
the legislative capital outlay committee.

In the past, the department has redirected unused tax payments and
administrative costs for the program.  But the current request takes scarce
general fund dollars from programs to pay for upgraded offices.  While
there may be merit in improving the Mason Building, such requests should
stand on their own and seek additional funds, not divert money from other
important program priorities.

Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
http: www.mienv.org

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